Essential Eastwood: Action Collection [4 Discs] [DVD]
- SKU: 18478521
- Release Date: 06/01/2010
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- Vintage featurette on Where Eagles Dare and Firefox
- Closed Captioned
Producer/director/star Clint Eastwood takes his sweet time getting Firefox started. Eastwood plays Mitchell Gant, a past-his-prime U.S. pilot, smuggled into the Soviet Union to steal a new Russian supersonic fighting plane. Fortunately the KGB men are as burnt out as Gant, enabling him to abscond with the plane with the greatest of ease. The rest of the film is a protracted chase, pitting Gant against scores of impersonal MIG pilots. Based on a novel by Craig Thomas. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Where Eagles Dare
An expensive but enormously profitable war picture, Where Eagles Dare centers upon a daring rescue and even more daring escape. Disguised as Nazi officers, commandoes Maj. John Smith (Richard Burton), Lt. Morris Schaffer Clint Eastwood and six other courageous souls parachute behind enemy lines. Their mission: to rescue an American general, held captive in a supposedly impenetrable Alpine castle. Aiding and abetting the commandoes are Allied undercover agents Mary (Mary Ure) and Heidi (Ingrid Pitt). Also on hand is a British officer (Patrick Wymark), who masterminded the mission. Somewhere, somehow, someone amongst the Allies is going to turn out to be a traitor. There's also a neat plot twist in store when the commandoes manage to reach the American general -- which leads to yet another twist. The vertigo-inducing climax has made Where Eagles Dare one of the most sought-after of "early" Eastwood starring features. The film was written directly for the screen by espionage novelist Alistair MacLean. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Like M*A*S*H and Catch-22, both released the same year, this military comedy takes place in an earlier war but is really a thinly disguised treatise on the modern-day insanity and avariciousness then unfolding in Vietnam. Clint Eastwood stars as Kelly, a former lieutenant whose illusions about the glory of war, if he has any, are lost when he is busted in rank for following some poorly considered orders in World War II France. After capturing a friendly German officer, Kelly learns the whereabouts of millions of dollars in gold bars, earmarked to finance a military payroll. Taking advantage of a three-day liberty, Kelly assembles a motley trio of fellow soldiers to help him sneak behind enemy lines and retrieve the booty. They include Big Joe (Telly Savalas), a gruff sergeant; Crapgame (Don Rickles), a supply sergeant already enriching himself as a black marketer and con man; and the hippie-like tank commander Oddball (Donald Sutherland). Since crossing into enemy-held territory means heading in the opposite direction of the retreating Allies, Kelly and his men encounter armed resistance. Receiving word of their campaign, the vain General Colt (Carroll O'Connor) mistakes the quartet of freelancing scam artists for all-American heroes. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi
Having spent much of his directorial career emulating Don Siegel and John Ford, Clint Eastwood borrows a page from the catalogue of Sam Fuller in Heartbreak Ridge. Eastwood casts himself as an old-fashioned Marine Corps sergeant who is out of step with the new-fashioned military. He returns to his old outfit as a gunnery sergeant, where he runs afoul of 1980s-style superior officers to whom the words "Gung Ho" are foolish anachronisms. But through his tough tutelage, Eastwood's lackadaisical platoon is whipped into a first-rate fighting machine, favoring teamwork over such New Age gobbledygook as "self-fulfillment." Eastwood's men prove their mettle during the invasion of Grenada. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Cast & Crew
- Clint Eastwood - Mitchell Gant
- Freddie Jones - Kenneth Aubrey
- David Huffman - Buckholz
- Warren Clarke - Pavel Upenskoy
- Ronald Lacey - Semelovsky